Unlocking your business communications 

The Covid19 restrictions are lifting and, as a business owner, you now need to look at unlocking your business communications. Not easy as you are still evaluating what the new business environment looks like!

What you’ll need to be thinking about are the kinds of stories your business has to tell. What messages do you want to send to loyal and potentially new customers?

In short, you need a communication plan.

One which resonates with the realities of the situation you AND your customers face. So much has changed, much of it for good, that doing the same thing once again could be risky. The new world is all about relationships. Shouting is old world and is unlikely to succeed. Don’t get left behind.

A 5 Step plan to unlocking your business communications

Whether you are a small business implementing this yourself, or you want to get across the issues before briefing your agency, then this is for you.  We have made it practical and hope we have eliminated all unnecessary jargon. Ready? OK, read on to unlock your communication talents.

Step 1: Decide who matters to you in a post-lockdown world

The world has changed. Identify who your customers need to be in this ‘new world’. Ask ‘If we’re to be successful, who will our most important clients be?’ Create ‘personas’ of people you need to reach – describing who they. In marketing terms, you’re segmenting your market into different types of customer. In communications terms, you are identifying the types of people you need to reach.

Step 2: Understand your customers’ needs and pains

How? Pick up the phone for a ‘Just want to say hi’ chat. Listen to what customers are experiencing. Do existing customers need you more or less post COVID-19? If they don’t need you much now, will their need grow in future? These chats will tell you a lot about what you need to say, how you need to say it and when it will be best to communicate.

Step 3: Get the basics right

If you have not cleaned up your existing databases during the quiet time, get it done now. Try to make your database as SMART as possible. Make sure the persona or segmented groups of customers you have identified in Step 1 are together. Remember to have lists for the other stakeholders such as suppliers, strategic partners, investors and ‘supporters’ or network contacts. Upload them to an email distribution app like MailChimp so you are ready to launch a campaign. At the same time think about what are the best communication channels to reach your targets: Social media (and which platforms)? Personal Email? E-newsletter? Phone call? Traditional media? Can you afford to do a paid promotion? Is editorial content a better route?

Step 4: Prepare your messages

Now you know who your business needs to reach AND you understand your customers’ situation,. The next thing is to create the messages which connect with your targets, telling them about you at the same time. Resist at all costs talking exclusively about your business. Engage people by showing you understand their needs, concerns and interests. Make your stories and messages open, positive and solution-oriented.

Be aware that we’ve all had different experiences during the Covid 19 lockdown. Not all bad!

Step 5: Create a campaign

If you are turning your hand to communications for the first time, don’t be intimidated. This plan really is common sense. Decide how often you are going to communicate with each of your target groups and stakeholders. Don’t fall into the trap of over-communicating. It annoys people. It’s better to make friends than to become the communicator people avoid or ignore. Decide which channels you are going to use. What will be most effective for you? (email, press story, phone, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, even leaflet or mailshot). Note what tone and type of content you’re going to need to connect with each target audience.

But here’s a warning: only plan to do what you know can be achieved with the resources you have available. Now you are ready – and it is time for action.

Good luck. Remember, if it is not working, review and tweak your plan until it does.  If you want to find out more, email us or call and we’ll arrange a chat about ways in which you can go about unlocking your business communications.